Painting helped him fight the disease, and it all started with… coloring books. Now a patient of the psychiatry department of the “Zdroje” hospital in Szczecin boasts about his artistic achievements.
Patients and medical staff of the “Zdroje” hospital in Szczecin have the opportunity to view a unique exhibition. The author of all the works is Mr. Darek, a patient of the day general psychiatric ward, and the exhibition itself consists of 30 works created using the paint-by-numbers method.
Painting by numbers is like therapy
The man has been struggling with anxiety disorders combined with panic attacks for many years. There were times when seemingly simple things like leaving the house or getting on the bus were beyond his strength. Mr. Darek practically didn’t leave the house. – The day came when I felt very bad. Once again, I was admitted to a 24-hour psychiatric ward. There, I accidentally came across various coloring books. To fill my free time, I started painting them. This is how my adventure with art began, which helped me a lot in my fight against the disease, he said during the opening.
The hospital patient set the bar higher and higher and tried more and more complicated patterns and techniques. And as he says, what he liked most was painting by numbers with paints on canvas. During the year he created several dozen such paintings. When he showed their photos to the head of the psychiatric ward, she suggested organizing an exhibition in the hospital.
– Painting calms me down, creates a safe space filled only with numbers, paints and brushes. It relaxes and calms me down. I focus on painting and don’t think that something bad might happen soon. The outside world that sometimes terrifies me ceases to exist at this time. It helps me a lot, thanks to it I started functioning somehow. Now I leave the house, I even travel by bus, emphasized Mr. Darek.
Doctor: It’s “conditioner” for the brain
– I have known Mr. Darek for years and I know how much his illness prevented him from functioning on a daily basis. In his case, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy brought only partial improvement. Painting by numbers turned out to be their best complement, said Dr. Zofia Piotrowska, head of the psychiatric day ward at the “Zdroje” hospital, during the opening of the exhibition. As she emphasized, Mr. Darek is a perfect example of how art can help in dealing with anxiety symptoms. – I am happy to see how this form of self-therapy has reduced the symptoms of his disease and how he has positively strengthened himself, finding meaning in what he does – added Dr. Piotrowska.
Painting by numbers means coloring appropriately marked fields, which result in a specific image. Currently, this technique is very popular and, importantly, it can be very helpful for many patients suffering from mental problems. Specialists also recommend this activity for elderly people. It is an effective form of brain stimulation and improvement of manual and cognitive functions.
– It is a fantastic “nutrient” for our brain. Hand-brain cooperation is important here. As a result, there are more new neurons in the brain and connections between individual neurons. The more these connections, the better the efficiency of the brain, including its mental functions, said Dr. Zofia Piotrowska.